PESHAWAR: The government imposed a weeklong complete lockdown, except essential services, in Mardan district on Sunday as 31 more persons died including a doctor across the province with detection of 956 new cases of Covid-19.
Due to rising positivity rate in Mardan, the second most populous city in the province, a high level meeting at the divisional commissioner office decided to impose complete lockdown.
Officials said that eight more deaths were reported in Mardan during the last 24 hours with detection of 1,232 new cases of Covid-19.
A notification was issued by Mardan deputy commissioner under section 8 and 21 of KP Epidemic Control and Emergency Relief Act, 2020 read with section 22 of National Disaster management Authority Act, banning entry of outsiders to the district without a genuine reason.
The notification says that all commercial activities, markets and cattle fairs should remain closed in the district except some essential businesses including bakeries, grocery shops, milk, meat, chicken, fruit and vegetable shops.
31 more die of Covid in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
The health authorities are pinning hope on deployment of army personnel for effective enforcement of standard operating procedure.
A report by health department said that the number of people, who passed way of Covid-19, reached 3,134 and cases 114,077 with most deaths taking place in Mardan and Peshawar where positivity was 35.4 per cent and 22.6 per cent, first and third, on the list of high-risk Covid-19 affected districts, respectively.
There are 14,007 active cases in the province and 96,936 patients have recovered from the infectious ailment. The department recorded 1,421 more recoveries among Covid-19 patients.
Nine deaths were recorded from Bannu district in a single day for the first time since onset of virus in the province. Bannu has reported 52 fatalities so far.
Peshawar, the hardest-hit district, was home to more than half of the total Covid-19 deaths and incidence as it reported six more fatalities and 301 cases, said the report.
Two patients each expired in Swat and Haripur. Swat has 18.8 per cent positivity rate. One each person passed away in Dir Lower, Swabi, Bajaur and Kohat due to the pandemic.
In Kurram tribal district, 13 people have died of coronavirus so far. It has detected 115 fresh cases. Its total tally of infected persons has reached to 1,485.
Meanwhile, a press release said that district administration, army and police started joint patrolling in Peshawar to ensure implementation SOP to prevent aggressive transmission of Covid-19 in the city.
It said that more than 300 persons were arrested and over 100 shops were sealed for contravention of law regarding SOPs. The administration said that it had reached agreement with clerics representing all school of thoughts to adhere to precautions.
Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Khalid Mehmood said that an agreement regarding adherence to corona SOP on the premises of mosques and during congregational prayers had been reached with all the mainstream religious leaders prior to start of Ramazan.
The city is currently facing third wave of the pandemic, which is more virulent than the first two waves and anyone flouting SOP would be held accountable. According to him, people should pursue precautionary measures to stop spread of the virus.
Moreover, a report by World Health Organisation said that more than 50 per cent of the ventilators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remained occupied. Of the 409 available ventilators dedicated to Covid-patients, 218 are in use of patients.
In Peshawar 58 of the 216 ventilators are vacant, it said. Mardan has 26 ventilators of which eight are vacant. Swat, another hotspot of the virus, has only one ventilator in use of the total 26.
Officials said that the ventilators were available only in public sector hospitals. “We have already started admitting Covid-19 patients in private hospitals. These hospitals have 150 ventilators. There are 133 more ventilators in the hospitals which can be shifted to Covid-19 wards in case of need,” they said.
Dr Mohammad Ali, assistant professor at psychiatry department of Naseer Teaching Hospital, died of Covid-19.
Provincial Doctors Association said that 63 medics died of coronavirus infection but their families were still waiting for compensation package approved in April last year by the government.
Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2021